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Sports, Volume 10, Issue 10 (October 2022) – 24 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): Tennis is a physically demanding sport that appears to require a high level of conditioning in order to facilitate injury prevention. The purpose of this study was to examine injury rates and strength and conditioning practices in collegiate tennis. The highest reported injuries were ankle sprains (144 injures), paraspinal muscle strains (126 injuries), internal or subacromial impingements (95 injuries), and thigh muscle strains (82 injuries). When coaches were surveyed, they appeared to value sports-specific training, as well as flexibility and mobility training. Finally, the incorporation of hypertrophy-oriented training appeared to explain a small percentage of the variance in injury rates in both the upper- and lower-body. However, S&C practices overall were not strongly predictive of injuries in tennis. View this paper
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8 pages, 511 KiB  
Case Report
The Relationship between 24 h Ultramarathon Performance and the “Big Three” Strategies of Training, Nutrition, and Pacing
by Fuminori Takayama and Hisashi Mori
Sports 2022, 10(10), 162; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports10100162 - 21 Oct 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2827
Abstract
Background: The present case study examined the relationship between 24 h ultramarathon performance and the “big three” strategies of training, nutrition, and pacing. Methods: A 32-year-old male ultramarathon runner (body mass: 68.5 kg, height: 179 cm) participated in a 24 h ultramarathon race. [...] Read more.
Background: The present case study examined the relationship between 24 h ultramarathon performance and the “big three” strategies of training, nutrition, and pacing. Methods: A 32-year-old male ultramarathon runner (body mass: 68.5 kg, height: 179 cm) participated in a 24 h ultramarathon race. Training status was quantified based on from a GPS sports watch. The nutritional status was evaluated during the week leading up to the race, and blood glucose level and heart rate were measured during the race. Results: His aim of the distance was 200 km, but the actual performance was 171.760 km. The blood glucose level was stable because of adequate CHO intake before (7.2 ± 0.8 g/kg/day) and during the race (48 g/h). The running speed decreased in the middle and later stages of the race despite adequate CHO intake and a lack of high intensity running in the early stage of the race. The longest training session before the race (80 km) had to be significantly shorter compared to the aim. Conclusions: For optimal 24 h ultramarathon performance, the “big three” strategies of training, nutrition, and pacing are all important. However, the performance level estimated based on previous studies may be achievable even with insufficient training, as long as the nutritional and pacing strategies are appropriate. Full article
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8 pages, 222 KiB  
Article
The Effect of a Statewide Policy on High School Emergency Action Plans
by Samuel T. Johnson, Michael C. Koester, Viktor E. Bovbjerg and Marc F. Norcross
Sports 2022, 10(10), 161; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports10100161 - 20 Oct 2022
Viewed by 1108
Abstract
Institutions sponsoring athletics must be prepared for emergencies. Due to this, more governing bodies are requiring a sports-related emergency action plan (EAP). Yet, the effects of these policies are unknown. We compared adoption of EAPs and associated best practices in Oregon high schools [...] Read more.
Institutions sponsoring athletics must be prepared for emergencies. Due to this, more governing bodies are requiring a sports-related emergency action plan (EAP). Yet, the effects of these policies are unknown. We compared adoption of EAPs and associated best practices in Oregon high schools before and after a policy requiring an EAP. Athletic directors were invited to complete a survey during the year before the policy went into effect and again the following year. We assessed whether the school had a written EAP and if they did, was the EAP venue specific, available at the venue, distributed to personnel, and annually reviewed and rehearsed. Pre/post-policy proportions were analyzed using Fisher exact tests for all schools and then schools that completed both surveys. There was a significant increase of schools that reported having an EAP after the policy went into effect (all schools: 55% to 99% [p < 0.001] and schools responding both years: 60% to 98% [p < 0.001]). Venue specific EAPs also significantly increased but only when analyzing all responses (59% to 71% [p = 0.03]). No best practice recommendations related to EAP availability, distribution, review, or rehearsal changed after the policy. Schools met the minimum requirements of the policy, but other related best practices did not significantly improve. Full article
15 pages, 2470 KiB  
Article
Tracking Health, Performance and Recovery in Athletes Using Machine Learning
by Denis V. Petrovsky, Vasiliy I. Pustovoyt, Kirill S. Nikolsky, Kristina A. Malsagova, Arthur T. Kopylov, Alexander A. Stepanov, Vladimir. R. Rudnev, Evgenii I. Balakin and Anna L. Kaysheva
Sports 2022, 10(10), 160; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports10100160 - 19 Oct 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1821
Abstract
Training and competitive periods can temporarily impair the performance of an athlete. This disruption can be short- or long-term, lasting up to several days. We analyzed the health indicators of 3661 athletes during an in-depth medical examination. At the time of inclusion in [...] Read more.
Training and competitive periods can temporarily impair the performance of an athlete. This disruption can be short- or long-term, lasting up to several days. We analyzed the health indicators of 3661 athletes during an in-depth medical examination. At the time of inclusion in the study, the athletes were healthy. Instrumental examinations (fluorography, ultrasound examination of the abdominal cavity and pelvic organs, echocardiography, electrocardiography, and stress testing “to failure”), laboratory examinations (general urinalysis and biochemical and general clinical blood analysis), and examinations by specialists (ophthalmologist, otolaryngologist, surgeon, cardiologist, neurologist, dentist, gynecologist (women), endocrinologist, and therapist) were performed. This study analyzed the significance of determining the indicators involved in the implementation of the “catabolism” and “anabolism” phenotypes using the random forest and multinomial logistic regression machine learning methods. The use of decision forest and multinomial regression models made it possible to identify the most significant indicators of blood and urine biochemistry for the analysis of phenotypes as a characterization of the effectiveness of recovery processes in the post-competitive period in athletes. We found that the parameters of muscle metabolism, such as aspartate aminotransferase, creatine kinase, lactate dehydrogenase, and alanine aminotransferase levels, and the parameters of the ornithine cycle, such as creatinine, urea acid, and urea levels, made the most significant contribution to the classification of two types of metabolism: catabolism and anabolism. Full article
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16 pages, 509 KiB  
Article
A Multidisciplinary Investigation into the Talent Development Processes at an English Football Academy: A Machine Learning Approach
by Adam L. Kelly, Craig A. Williams, Rob Cook, Sergio Lorenzo Jiménez Sáiz and Mark R. Wilson
Sports 2022, 10(10), 159; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports10100159 - 19 Oct 2022
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 4321
Abstract
The talent development processes in youth football are both complex and multidimensional. The purpose of this two-fold study was to apply a multidisciplinary, machine learning approach to examine: (a) the developmental characteristics of under-9 to under-16 academy players (n = 98; Study [...] Read more.
The talent development processes in youth football are both complex and multidimensional. The purpose of this two-fold study was to apply a multidisciplinary, machine learning approach to examine: (a) the developmental characteristics of under-9 to under-16 academy players (n = 98; Study 1), and (b) the characteristics of selected and deselected under-18 academy players (n = 18; Study 2). A combined total of 53 factors cumulated from eight data collection methods across two seasons were analysed. A cross-validated Lasso regression was implemented, using the glmnet package in R, to analyse the factors that contributed to: (a) player review ratings (Study 1), and (b) achieving a professional contract (Study 2). Results showed non-zero coefficients for improvement in subjective performance in 15 out of the 53 analysed features, with key findings revealing advanced percentage of predicted adult height (0.196), greater lob pass (0.160) and average dribble completion percentage (0.124), more total match-play hours (0.145), and an older relative age (BQ1 vs. BQ2: −0.133; BQ1 vs. BQ4: −0.060) were the most important features that contributed towards player review ratings. Moreover, PCDEQ Factor 3 and an ability to organise and engage in quality practice (PCDEQ Factor 4) were important contributing factors towards achieving a professional contract. Overall, it appears the key factors associated with positive developmental outcomes are not always technical and tactical in nature, where coaches often have their expertise. Indeed, the relative importance of these factors is likely to change over time, and with age, although psychological attributes appear to be key to reaching potential across the academy journey. The methodological techniques used here also serve as an impetus for researchers to adopt a machine learning approach when analysing multidimensional databases. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Talent Identification and Development in Youth Sports)
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14 pages, 314 KiB  
Article
The Perception of Grassroots Coaches of Spanish Professional Clubs on the Process of Training Young Players
by Alberto Martín Barrero, Francisco Javier Giménez Fuentes-Guerra and Manuel Tomás Abad Robles
Sports 2022, 10(10), 158; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports10100158 - 18 Oct 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1563
Abstract
(1) The aims of this study were to find out the perception of the coaches of male and female football players in the initiation stage of Spanish professional clubs about different factors of the training process (context, talent development, and methodology), and to [...] Read more.
(1) The aims of this study were to find out the perception of the coaches of male and female football players in the initiation stage of Spanish professional clubs about different factors of the training process (context, talent development, and methodology), and to identify possible differences according to age/category (U10s: 8–10 years old, and U12s: 10–12 years old) and gender (male and female). (2) For this purpose, a questionnaire of 57 questions grouped into seven dimensions was applied, selecting for this work those related to talent development, training methodology, and social context. A total of 153 coaches from top-level Spanish professional clubs participated in the study: the first and second male division and the first female division. (3) The coaches consider that genetic inheritance is more important than contextual variables in the development of sporting talent. On the other hand, they do not show a clear consensus on whether players who perform better in the initiation stage have a greater chance of reaching the elite. (4) In addition, they value decision-making and technical qualities as fundamental factors in the development of talent rather than physical preparation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Science and Practice of Grassroots Soccer)
10 pages, 591 KiB  
Case Report
Characteristics of the Spatial Location of Sports Facilities in the Northern Great Plain Region of Hungary
by Gábor Kozma, Károly Teperics, Klára Czimre and Zsolt Radics
Sports 2022, 10(10), 157; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports10100157 - 18 Oct 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1824
Abstract
Sports facilities play a very important role in educating people about the benefits of a healthy lifestyle, and the examination of their spatial distribution is one of the important research areas of sport geography, a field of study becoming increasingly important in recent [...] Read more.
Sports facilities play a very important role in educating people about the benefits of a healthy lifestyle, and the examination of their spatial distribution is one of the important research areas of sport geography, a field of study becoming increasingly important in recent times. In this spirit, the aim of this paper is to present the spatial distribution of sports facilities in a specific Hungarian sample area, the Észak-Alföld (Northern Great Plain) region, to point out the differences between settlements, as well as the reasons behind these differences. Data received from the local authorities and state administration bodies were used for the preparation of the study, which included the different sports facilities at the settlement level in addition to information found on the Internet. The following conclusions were drawn based on the research. First of all, it was found that the settlement size significantly influences the spatial distribution of sports facilities, inter alia, larger settlements with larger populations boast increased demand and higher purchasing power and also have more enhanced and more diverse sports infrastructure. Secondly, in the case of competitive sports, the size of settlements is less relevant; there are only insignificant differences between the settlements of different sizes. This can be explained by the fact that almost all settlements have their own football pitch. Thirdly, the administrative role of the settlements was also found to be significant since settlements being on higher levels of the hierarchy (district centres, county seats) always have better facilities. Full article
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16 pages, 359 KiB  
Article
In the Opinion of Elite Volleyball Coaches, How Do Contextual Variables Influence Individual Volleyball Performance in Competitions?
by Carlos López-Serrano, María Perla Moreno Arroyo, Daniel Mon-López and Juan José Molina Martín
Sports 2022, 10(10), 156; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports10100156 - 18 Oct 2022
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2182
Abstract
The main objective was to know the elite coaches’ opinions regarding the relevance, definition, and importance of volleyball contextual variables to measure individual performance in competition. After performing a literature review, an instrument to gather the opinion of the world’s elite volleyball coaches [...] Read more.
The main objective was to know the elite coaches’ opinions regarding the relevance, definition, and importance of volleyball contextual variables to measure individual performance in competition. After performing a literature review, an instrument to gather the opinion of the world’s elite volleyball coaches was elaborated by four volleyball specialists. The sample of experts consisted in 20 world’s elite volleyball coaches who met at least three experience years in first division or national teams. The instrument collected experts’ information on the contextual variables in relation to relevance, definition, and importance. Cronbach’s α and Aiken’s V coefficient were used to test the reliability and content validity of the contextual variables, respectively. To compare the importance of the contextual variables U de Mann-Whitney and Kruskal-Wallis tests were used. Results showed that opposition level, set period, score difference, results of the previous set, competitive load variables, high level, final periods ≥20, and high load categories were relevant (Aikens V > 0.70). In addition, high level, final period ≥20 and ≥+10, and high load categories were significantly more important (p < 0.05). We conclude that, according to the elite coaches, the contextual variables should not be analyzed separately. Future studies should consider contextual variables dynamically. Full article
12 pages, 1366 KiB  
Article
Modulation of Lower-Limb Muscle Activity in Maintaining Unipedal Balance According to Surface Stability, Sway Direction, and Leg Dominance
by Arunee Promsri
Sports 2022, 10(10), 155; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports10100155 - 17 Oct 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2097
Abstract
Determining temporal similarity in shape between electromyographic (EMG) and center-of-pressure (COP) signals reflects neuromuscular control in terms of which relevant muscles are involved in maintaining balance. The current study aimed to investigate a cross-correlation between seven lower-limb EMG activities and COP displacements, simultaneously [...] Read more.
Determining temporal similarity in shape between electromyographic (EMG) and center-of-pressure (COP) signals reflects neuromuscular control in terms of which relevant muscles are involved in maintaining balance. The current study aimed to investigate a cross-correlation between seven lower-limb EMG activities and COP displacements, simultaneously measured in 25 young adults unipedally balancing on stable and multiaxial-unstable surfaces. The effect of surface stability, sway direction, and leg dominance was then tested on two EMG–COP correlation levels: individual muscles and groups (patterns) of multi-muscles involved in postural sway, as determined by principal component analysis (PCA). The results show that two factors demonstrate their effects only at the level of individual muscles: sway direction (p ≤ 0.003) and leg dominance (p = 0.003). Specifically, the semitendinosus, tibialis anterior, peroneus longus, and soleus correlate more with the mediolateral postural sway than with the anteroposterior postural sway, except for the gastrocnemius medialis. Additionally, balancing on the non-dominant leg shows a lower correlation between the semitendinosus and postural sway than on the dominant leg. The current findings suggest that when achieving unipedal equilibrium, the postural control system may be constrained the most in the specific muscles of the least steady conditions, e.g., the frontal plane and non-preferred leg. Full article
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9 pages, 656 KiB  
Article
Does the Type of Anaerobic Test Matter? A Comparison between the Anaerobic Intermittent Kick Test and Wingate Anaerobic Test in Taekwondo Athletes
by Stefanos Boutios, Alessandra di Cagno, Andrea Buonsenso, Marco Centorbi, Enzo Iuliano, Giuseppe Calcagno and Giovanni Fiorilli
Sports 2022, 10(10), 154; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports10100154 - 14 Oct 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1900
Abstract
The specificity of training as well as the specificity of monitoring the training process are believed to be fundamental principles to efficiently plan and carry out the preparation and performance development of athletes. The Anaerobic Intermittent Kick Test (TAIKT) is a sport-specific field [...] Read more.
The specificity of training as well as the specificity of monitoring the training process are believed to be fundamental principles to efficiently plan and carry out the preparation and performance development of athletes. The Anaerobic Intermittent Kick Test (TAIKT) is a sport-specific field test used to specifically evaluate the anaerobic profile of Taekwondo athletes. The aim of this study was to verify whether TAIKT and the ‘gold standard’ Wingate Anaerobic test (WAnT) were both efficient means to optimally determine the anaerobic power and anaerobic capacity of Greek Taekwondo athletes at a middle-high technical level. Fifteen athletes, 10 females and 5 males (mean age 23.4 ± 4.14 years), underwent the two anaerobic tests (TAIKT and WAnT). The peak of power, the anaerobic capacity, and the peak of blood lactate (BL) were recorded. The two tests showed a moderate correlation with the r value ranging between 0.353 and 0.428, if applied to a sample of middle-high technical level athletes. Regarding the peak of BL, data indicated 40% concordance between the two tests with a coefficient of variation of 12%. Consequently, the two tests were correlated even if not interchangeable due to the different type of exercise required in these assessments. In conclusion, to assess the anaerobic performances and physiological characteristics of Taekwondo athletes, independently of their technical level, the WAnT resulted suitable, while to better assess the functional performance and specific demands of Taekwondo, the TAIKT is more indicated. Full article
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13 pages, 333 KiB  
Article
Influence of Alpine Skiing on Health-Related Quality of Life and Physical Self-Concept in Physically Active Adults over 55 Years of Age
by Javier Conde-Pipó, Ignacio Valenzuela-Barranco, Alejandro López-Moro, Blanca Román-Alconchel, Miguel Mariscal-Arcas and Félix Zurita-Ortega
Sports 2022, 10(10), 153; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports10100153 - 13 Oct 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2326
Abstract
Background: Older adults have the highest rates of a sedentary lifestyle. Alpine skiing could be considered a suitable activity to encourage continued sports practice and improve the health of this population in winter. The aim of this study was to analyse the relationship [...] Read more.
Background: Older adults have the highest rates of a sedentary lifestyle. Alpine skiing could be considered a suitable activity to encourage continued sports practice and improve the health of this population in winter. The aim of this study was to analyse the relationship between the practice of alpine skiing and health-related quality of life (HRQoL), physical self-concept (PSC), and sport motivation. Methods: The study design was cross-sectional and descriptive, involving 280 Spanish adults aged over 55 years and physically active (75.35% skiers). To assess physical activity, PSC, HRQoL, and sport motivation, we used the Rapid Assessment of Physical Activity Questionnaire (RAPA-Q), the Physical Self-Perception Profile (PSPP 30), the Health-Related Quality of Life (SF-36), and the Sport Motivation Scale (SMS) questionnaires, respectively. Results: In the skier’s group, higher values were found for PSC (p < 0.001; d = 0.64), the physical component of HRQoL (p < 0.001, d = 0.48), physical function (p < 0.001, d = 61), and intrinsic motivation (p < 0.001; d = 0.85). The practice of alpine skiing was associated with higher levels of the physical health component (ORadj = 2.13, 95% CI 1.18–3.95, p = 0.013), PSC (ORadj = 2.92, 95% CI 1.58–5.52, p < 0.001), and intrinsic motivation (ORadj = 2.24, 95% CI 1.22–4.23, p = 0.010). Conclusions: The practice of alpine skiing is positively associated with higher values of HRQoL, PSC, and intrinsic motivation, and based on the above, it seems that alpine skiing can contribute to healthy ageing and improve the quality of life of older adults. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Exercise Interventions for Health Promotion across the Life Span)
9 pages, 844 KiB  
Article
Effects of New Zealand Blackcurrant Extract on Sequential Performance Testing in Male Rugby Union Players
by Patrick J. M. Burnett and Mark E. T. Willems
Sports 2022, 10(10), 152; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports10100152 - 12 Oct 2022
Viewed by 1477
Abstract
Previous studies on performance effects by New Zealand blackcurrant (NZBC) extract used mainly a single exercise task. We examined the effects of NZBC extract in a battery of rugby union–specific tests including speed, agility and strength testing. University male rugby union players ( [...] Read more.
Previous studies on performance effects by New Zealand blackcurrant (NZBC) extract used mainly a single exercise task. We examined the effects of NZBC extract in a battery of rugby union–specific tests including speed, agility and strength testing. University male rugby union players (n = 13, age: 21 ± 2 years, height: 182 ± 6 cm, body mass: 87 ± 13 kg) completed two full familiarisations and two experimental visits in an indoor facility. The study had a double blind, placebo-controlled, randomised, crossover design. For the experimental visits, participants consumed NZBC extract (210 mg/day of anthocyanins for 7 days) or placebo with a 7-day wash-out. Testing order was the running-based anaerobic sprint test, the Illinois agility test, seated medicine ball (3 kg) throw, and handgrip strength. With NZBC extract, there may have been an effect for average sprint time to be faster by 1.7% (placebo: 5.947 ± 0.538 s, NZBC extract: 5.846 ± 0.571 s, d = −0.18 (trivial), p = 0.06). However, with NZBC extract there may have been reduced slowing of sprint 2 (d = −0.59 (moderate), p = 0.06) and reduced slowing for sprint 6 (d = −0.56 (moderate), p = 0.03). In the Illinois agility test, there may have also been an effect for the mean time to be faster by 1.6% (placebo: 18.46 ± 1.44 s, NZBC extract: 18.15 ± 1.22 s, d = −0.24 (small), p = 0.07). The correlation between the %change in average sprint time and %change in mean agility time was not significant (Pearson R2 = 0.0698, p = 0.383). There were no differences for the seated medicine ball throw distance (p = 0.106) and handgrip strength (p = 0.709). Intake of NZBC extract in rugby union players seems to improve tasks that require maximal speed and agility but not muscle strength. NZBC blackcurrant extract may be able to enhance exercise performance in team sports that require repeated movements with high intensity and horizontal change of body position without affecting muscle strength. Full article
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11 pages, 851 KiB  
Article
An Analysis of Repeated High Intensity Efforts (RHIE) across Different Competition Levels in Elite Rugby Union
by Adam Sheehan, Shane Malone, Anthony Weldon, Aled Waters and Kieran Collins
Sports 2022, 10(10), 151; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports10100151 - 11 Oct 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2246
Abstract
The current investigation aimed to understand the differing positional demands across two elite rugby union competitions, with special reference to high-intensity effort (HIE) and repeated high-intensity effort (RHIE) activity. Four hundred and forty-one (n = 441) individual game files from thirty-five competitive [...] Read more.
The current investigation aimed to understand the differing positional demands across two elite rugby union competitions, with special reference to high-intensity effort (HIE) and repeated high-intensity effort (RHIE) activity. Four hundred and forty-one (n = 441) individual game files from thirty-five competitive games from the European Rugby Champions Cup (tier 1; n = 8) and PRO12 League (tier 2; n = 24) were analysed. Players’ locomotor profiles were recorded using wearable global positioning system microtechnology (10 Hz Catapult S5, Catapult Innovations, Australia). Locomotor activities were classified as running (≥4.4 m∙s−1), high-speed running (≥5.5 m∙s−1), accelerations (≥2 m∙s−2) and decelerations (≤−2 m∙s−2). Data was gathered on collisions (≥4 g−1), high-intensity efforts (HIE), repeated high-intensity efforts (RHIE), average number of efforts within a RHIE bout (n) and maximal number of efforts within a RHIE bout (n). Overall locomotor differences between competitions were trivial to small in nature, with tier 1 competition associated with a larger number of RHIE bouts (6.5 ± 1.4 vs. 5.7 ± 1.5, effect size, ES = 0.55) and efforts per bout (3.0 ± 1.1 vs. 2.4 ± 1.2, ES = 0.52). Collisions comprised a greater proportion of total HIE for forwards within tier 1 competition compared to tier 2 competition. The hooker (mean difference: 4 [−10 to 14]; ES = 0.30, small), lock (mean difference: 5 [−12 to 23]; ES = 0.36, small) and backrow (mean difference: 8 [−10 to 15]; ES = 0.54, small) positions engaged in more collisions during tier 1 competition compared to tier 2 competition. These findings can be used by athletic performance staff to design game-specific drills and recovery strategies during different competition weeks to ensure players are appropriately prepared for the differing demands of elite rugby competition. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Physiology and Physical Demands of Intermittent Exercise)
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10 pages, 647 KiB  
Article
The Physical Demands of Match-Play in Academy and Senior Soccer Players from the Scottish Premiership
by Ryland Morgans, Eduard Bezuglov, Patrick Orme, Kyler Burns, Dave Rhodes, John Babraj, Rocco Di Michele and Rafael Franco Soares Oliveira
Sports 2022, 10(10), 150; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports10100150 - 8 Oct 2022
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 3364
Abstract
The present study aimed to assess the physical match performance among senior and youth soccer players from an elite Scottish Premiership club during the 2021/2022 season. Twenty-two first team (25.9 ± 4.5 years, 78.3 ± 8.2 kg, 1.82 ± 0.07 cm) and 16 [...] Read more.
The present study aimed to assess the physical match performance among senior and youth soccer players from an elite Scottish Premiership club during the 2021/2022 season. Twenty-two first team (25.9 ± 4.5 years, 78.3 ± 8.2 kg, 1.82 ± 0.07 cm) and 16 youth players (16.8 ± 0.9 years, 70.1 ± 6.8 kg, 177 ± 5.8 cm) were examined. A selection of physical match performance variables were measured using a global positioning system. Linear mixed-effect regressions revealed for all examined variables no significant differences between first team and U-18 players and no significant differences between playing level by position interaction. Across both teams, Centre Backs compared to Wing Backs, showed a 295 m (p < 0.01) lower high-intensity distance, and performed on average 36 fewer very-high intensity decelerations (p = 0.03). Comparing to Wide Midfielders, Centre Backs showed lower total (1297 m, p = 0.01), high-intensity (350 m, p = 0.01), and sprint (167 m, p < 0.01) distances. Sprint distance was also lower in Centre Backs vs. Strikers (118 m, p = 0.03), and in Central Midfielders vs. both Strikers (104 m, p = 0.03) and Wide Midfielders (154 m, p = 0.01). The present findings highlight the physical match performance of elite Scottish players and provide useful information within the context of understanding how methods of physical development of youth soccer are implemented in different countries. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Monitoring Load, Recovery, and Performance in Soccer Players)
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11 pages, 1101 KiB  
Article
Injuries and Strength Training Practices in Collegiate Tennis
by Ecaterina Vasenina, William B. Hammert, Ryo Kataoka, Scott J. Dankel and Samuel L. Buckner
Sports 2022, 10(10), 149; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports10100149 - 29 Sep 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 3108
Abstract
Strength and conditioning practices may influence injury rates in the sport of tennis. Methods: Coaches reported the number injuries over the past year. Coaches were also surveyed on whether their training program included training related to upper-body or lower-body strength, power, muscle growth, [...] Read more.
Strength and conditioning practices may influence injury rates in the sport of tennis. Methods: Coaches reported the number injuries over the past year. Coaches were also surveyed on whether their training program included training related to upper-body or lower-body strength, power, muscle growth, and eccentric exercise. Separate regression analyses were run in the upper and lower body to examine the relationship between injuries and participation in training focused on strength, power, growth, and maximal eccentric exercise. A total of 111 coaches were surveyed. The most frequent injuries observed were ankle sprains (144 injures), followed by paraspinal muscle strains (126 injuries). When pooled, there were a total of 355 lower-body and 260 upper-body injuries. Strength and conditioning practices explained 9.9% of the variance of injury rates in the upper body (R2 = 0.099). The only significant predictor of upper-body injury was participation in upper-body muscle growth training (β = 1.613, p = 0.013). In addition, training practices explained 11.1% of the variance of injury in the lower body (R2 = 0.111). Coaches value injury prevention exercise, sports-specific training and flexibility and mobility training the most, with muscle growth and maximal power ranked lowest. Additionally, the most frequent injuries observed in collegiate tennis players were ankle sprains (144 injures), followed by paraspinal muscle strains (126 injuries). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sports Injury: Prevention and Rehabilitation)
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28 pages, 1921 KiB  
Review
The Effects of Different Relative Loads in Weight Training on Acceleration and Acceleration from Flying Starts
by Jøran Ersdal Fossmo and Roland van den Tillaar
Sports 2022, 10(10), 148; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports10100148 - 27 Sep 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2497
Abstract
The purpose of this review was to examine how different relative loads in weight training can improve acceleration over 10 m from a standing or flying start. A systematic review of the literature was undertaken using the following databases: PubMed, MedLine, Google Scholar, [...] Read more.
The purpose of this review was to examine how different relative loads in weight training can improve acceleration over 10 m from a standing or flying start. A systematic review of the literature was undertaken using the following databases: PubMed, MedLine, Google Scholar, and SPORTDiscus. Studies were eligible if they met the following criteria: (1) participants were at least 15 years or older and healthy and injury free, (2) the study included at least one exercise for the lower body with a strength training frequency of at least once a week and included a training period of at least four weeks, and (3) interventions with clear pre- and post-test results on 10 m sprint or 10 m flying start are stated. Non-English-language articles were excluded. Percent change and between-group effect size (ES) were calculated to compare the effects of different training interventions. Forty-nine studies met the inclusion criteria. The results were categorized into four groups: (1) explosive weight training with light loads at 30–60% of 1-RM, (2) explosive weight training with moderate loads at 60–85% of 1-RM, (3) maximal weight training at 85–100% of 1-RM, and (4) hypertrophy training at 60–85% of 1-RM. At 10 m, all methods of weight training demonstrated improvements, and maximal weight training demonstrated the highest results with a large ES, while other approaches varied from very small to moderate ES. Weight training showed little progression with a significantly lower effect on flying start across all training methods, except for one group that trained power cleans (hypertrophy) where progress was large. To improve acceleration over the first 10 m, this review demonstrated maximal weight training as the preferred training method. For athletes with a pre-existing high level of strength, it could be more appropriate to use explosive training with light loads or a combination of the two. To a lesser extent, acceleration from a flying start could be improved using both training methods as well. Full article
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12 pages, 1117 KiB  
Article
Cystine/Glutamine Mixture Supplementation Attenuated Fatigue during Endurance Exercise in Healthy Young Men by Enhancing Fatty Acid Utilization
by Sihui Ma, Miho Ono, Ami Mizugaki, Hiroyuki Kato, Masashi Miyashita and Katsuhiko Suzuki
Sports 2022, 10(10), 147; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports10100147 - 27 Sep 2022
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2661
Abstract
Exercise-induced fatigue is a multi-origin physical and mental phenomenon. Efforts to diminish the above predisposition may contribute to endurance, along with athletic well-being, while development of nutritional strategies to optimize condition and exercise performance are essential issues for athletes and trainers. Dietary amino [...] Read more.
Exercise-induced fatigue is a multi-origin physical and mental phenomenon. Efforts to diminish the above predisposition may contribute to endurance, along with athletic well-being, while development of nutritional strategies to optimize condition and exercise performance are essential issues for athletes and trainers. Dietary amino acids are being discussed for their specific health-promoting properties beyond their role as building blocks of proteins. Glutamine, along with cysteine, are two kinds of amino acids that are reported extensively for their anti-oxidation, anti-inflammation, and immune-regulation properties, and are promising in sport applications. In the present study, we designed a randomized, placebo-controlled, crossover trial to examine effects of 7-day supplementation of cystine/glutamine mixture (Cys2/Gln) on self-reporting fatigue index (ratings of perceived exertion, RPE), energy metabolism, and inflammation. We also employed a C2C12 myotube model to examine the capacity of cystine for fatty acid utilization. Cys2/Gln supplementation alleviated fatigue by decreasing RPE and enhanced fatty acid oxidation during a 60 min endurance exercise in human trials, while cystine increased fatty acid utilization in C2C12 myotubes by enhancing mitochondrial respiration. In summary, Cys2/Gln supplementation exerts positive effects on ameliorating exercise-induced fatigue, mechanisms of which can be attributed to enhancement of fatty acid utilization. Full article
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13 pages, 723 KiB  
Article
The Effect of Heart Rate Variability Biofeedback Training on Vagal Tone in Athletically Talented Secondary School Students
by Andrea M. Firth, Torvald F. Ask, Stefan Sütterlin and Ricardo G. Lugo
Sports 2022, 10(10), 146; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports10100146 - 27 Sep 2022
Viewed by 2241
Abstract
This study examines whether twelve sessions of heart rate variability biofeedback training would improve vagally mediated heart rate variability. If so, it would go some way in explaining why breathing-based interventions reduce clinical symptoms and improve non-clinical performance outcomes. Methods: Thirty participants (N [...] Read more.
This study examines whether twelve sessions of heart rate variability biofeedback training would improve vagally mediated heart rate variability. If so, it would go some way in explaining why breathing-based interventions reduce clinical symptoms and improve non-clinical performance outcomes. Methods: Thirty participants (N = 30, Nfemale = 13) aged 14–13-year-old, all talented athletes, from a sport specialist school in SE London UK, were randomly divided into three groups, a control group, a psychology skills training combined with heart rate variability biofeedback training group, and a heart rate variability biofeedback only group. For the combined group, a variety of typical psychological skill training techniques were also used. Results: Paired participant t-test and the Wilcoxon Signed Rank test found non-significant differences between pre- and post-intervention measurements of heart rate variability. Non-significant results remained even after pooling the biofeedback training groups (n = 19). Conclusions: Our results do not indicate that beneficial effects associated with focused breathing training can be attributed to improved vagal tone. Further investigation into the underlying mechanisms of the benefits of focused breathing techniques is necessary to maximize clinical and non-clinical outcomes. Full article
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9 pages, 457 KiB  
Article
Relationship between Swimming Ability of College Students and Their Regular Exercise Habits
by Feng-Hua Tsai and Hsiu-Tao Hsu
Sports 2022, 10(10), 145; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports10100145 - 26 Sep 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2082
Abstract
Background: This study examined the relationship between the five-level swimming ability of college students and their regular exercise habits. Methods: This study applied to Academia Sinica for permission to use the raw data from the Survey on the Sports Participation Situations of Students [...] Read more.
Background: This study examined the relationship between the five-level swimming ability of college students and their regular exercise habits. Methods: This study applied to Academia Sinica for permission to use the raw data from the Survey on the Sports Participation Situations of Students in All Levels of Education, which was conducted by the Sports Administration, Ministry of Education, Taiwan; a secondary data analysis of the obtained data was then conducted. Results: Overall, 18,515 pieces of data were selected for analysis, and the results revealed that 85.9% of the surveyed students had learned to swim; those who had regular exercise habits exhibited a higher level of swimming ability than those without such habits. A logistic regression analysis showed that progressing to a higher level of swimming ability increased the likelihood of having regular exercise habits by 20%. Conclusions: The present study showed that level of swimming ability was significantly correlated with regular exercise habits. In the future, exercise self-efficacy theories can be applied to explore the relationship between exercise skill proficiency and regular exercise habits. Full article
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12 pages, 2419 KiB  
Article
Validity of a Wheelchair Rugby Field Test to Simulate Physiological and Thermoregulatory Match Outcomes
by Fabian Grossmann, Joelle Leonie Flueck, Bart Roelands, Romain Meeusen and Claudio Perret
Sports 2022, 10(10), 144; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports10100144 - 23 Sep 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1451
Abstract
The purpose of the study was to verify the criterion-validity (concurrent) of an existing and reliable, submaximal wheelchair Rugby (WCR) field test by examining the correlations of selected measures of physical performance between the field test and real games. Therefore, ten WCR athletes [...] Read more.
The purpose of the study was to verify the criterion-validity (concurrent) of an existing and reliable, submaximal wheelchair Rugby (WCR) field test by examining the correlations of selected measures of physical performance between the field test and real games. Therefore, ten WCR athletes were observed during two WCR real games and during completing the field test two times. Total distance, mean and peak velocity, playing time, number of sprints, sprints per minute, mean and maximal heart rate, body core temperature (Tc), sweat rate, body weight loss, rate of perceived exertion and thermal sensation were measured. Values were correlated with the data observed by completing the field test two times separated by seven days. The results showed significant correlations between games and field tests for sweat rate (r = 0.740, p < 0.001), body weight loss (r = 0.732, p < 0.001) and the increase of Tc (r = 0.611, p = 0.009). All other correlations were not significant. For perceptual responses Bland–Altman analysis showed data within the limits of agreement. Descriptive statistics showed similarity for mean velocity and total distance between tests and games. In conclusion the study provides the first indications that the submaximal field test seems comparable with the game outcomes in terms of increase in Tc, covered distance, mean velocity and perceptual responses. Nevertheless, more research and additional validation are required. Full article
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13 pages, 1070 KiB  
Article
Bodyweight and Combined Training Reduce Chronic Low-Grade Inflammation and Improve Functional Fitness of Postmenopausal Women
by Marcos Raphael Pereira Monteiro, José Carlos Aragão-Santos, Alan Bruno Silva Vasconcelos, Antônio Gomes de Resende-Neto, Leury Max da Silva Chaves, Alan Pantoja Cardoso, Albernon Costa Nogueira, Angel Carnero-Diaz, Pablo Jorge Marcos-Pardo, Cristiane Bani Corrêa, Tatiana Rodrigues de Moura and Marzo Edir Da Silva-Grigoletto
Sports 2022, 10(10), 143; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports10100143 - 23 Sep 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1997
Abstract
Exercise is an important tool against the deleterious effects of aging. Among the possibilities of exercise, bodyweight training (BWT) has been highlighted in the last years as a safe option to improve the health of older people. We compared the effects of 24 [...] Read more.
Exercise is an important tool against the deleterious effects of aging. Among the possibilities of exercise, bodyweight training (BWT) has been highlighted in the last years as a safe option to improve the health of older people. We compared the effects of 24 weeks of BWT and combined training (CT) on low-grade systematic inflammation and functional fitness in postmenopausal women. For this, 40 women were allocated and submitted to CT (n = 20, 64.43 ± 3.13 years, 29.56 ± 4.80 kg/m²) and BWT (n = 20, 65.10 ± 4.86 years, 28.76 ± 4.26 kg/m²). We measured inflammation by the interleukin-6 (IL-6), interleukin-10 (IL-10), and tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) assessments. For functional fitness, we used tests similar to activities of daily living. At the end of the 16 weeks, data from 24 women were analyzed, CT (n = 14) and BT (n = 10). Both groups reduced TNF-α and IL-6 levels, without differences in IL-10. Regarding functional fitness, both groups demonstrated improvements in all tests after 24 weeks, except for rise from prone position and the 400-meter walk test for CT. In summary, CT and BWT are effective in reducing the plasma concentration of pro-inflammatory cytokines and improving functional fitness in postmenopausal women. Full article
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14 pages, 1147 KiB  
Article
Exploring the Acute Effects of the Daily Mile™ vs. Shuttle Runs on Children’s Cognitive and Affective Responses
by Ricardo M. G. Martins, Michael J. Duncan, Cain C. T. Clark and Emma L. J. Eyre
Sports 2022, 10(10), 142; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports10100142 - 22 Sep 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1976
Abstract
Background: This study investigated the acute effects of two physical activity (PA) bouts on children’s cognitive and affective responses. Methods: Twenty-nine participants (16 boys and 13 girls; Mage = 9.34 years, SD = 0.48), using a within-subjects crossover design, performed three 15-min [...] Read more.
Background: This study investigated the acute effects of two physical activity (PA) bouts on children’s cognitive and affective responses. Methods: Twenty-nine participants (16 boys and 13 girls; Mage = 9.34 years, SD = 0.48), using a within-subjects crossover design, performed three 15-min conditions: (a) TDM—The Daily Mile™; (b) 12 repeated 30–45-s shuttle runs at ≥ 85% HRMAX; and (c) a sedentary control condition. Cognitive performance (i.e., Stroop, Digit Span, and Corsi blocks) was measured before PA and 1 and 30 min post-PA. Felt Arousal and Feeling Scale self-report scales were administered before, during, and after PA. Results: The results show no changes following the TDM condition relative to the sedentary control condition in cognitive responses. However, when comparing the shuttle runs condition to the sedentary control condition, participants showed higher arousal, an improved reaction time, and lower self-reported pleasure at 1 min post-PA. Nevertheless, at 30 min post-PA, participants’ pleasure values were higher in the shuttle runs condition than they were before PA. Conclusions: When comparing PA conditions, shuttle runs enhanced reaction time and might thus be seen as an option to implement or modify PA opportunities in school settings. Full article
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14 pages, 1012 KiB  
Review
Differences across Playing Levels for Match-Play Physical Demands in Women’s Professional and Collegiate Soccer: A Narrative Review
by Erin Choice, James Tufano, Kristen Jagger, Kayla Hooker and Kristen C. Cochrane-Snyman
Sports 2022, 10(10), 141; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports10100141 - 22 Sep 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2513
Abstract
Advancements in sport technology have made quantifying match-play external load (e.g., total distance, sprint distance, number of sprints) a popular option for athletics personnel. These variables of volume and intensity are useful for both objectively monitoring training in field-based sports and for designing [...] Read more.
Advancements in sport technology have made quantifying match-play external load (e.g., total distance, sprint distance, number of sprints) a popular option for athletics personnel. These variables of volume and intensity are useful for both objectively monitoring training in field-based sports and for designing training programs. As physical abilities differ across playing levels, match-play demands likely also differ. This narrative review compiles and compares the match-play external load data for women’s soccer at the professional and collegiate levels. Databases were searched through July 2022, yielding 13 primary articles that assessed the match-play demands of women’s soccer (3 professional, 8 Division I, 1 Division II, and 1 Division III). The results indicate that the average total distance covered were similar between the professional, Division I and Division III levels, but the variability was greater among Division III compared to professional and Division I players. Data for Division II are scarce, but the total distance covered appears to be less than for professional, Division I and Division III. There was also large variability for sprint distance and number of sprints across data at all playing levels. Considering the lack of studies of Division II and Division III players, more research is necessary to determine how playing level may affect external load profiles, as isolated studies likely only reflect data from isolated teams. Full article
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11 pages, 970 KiB  
Article
Biochemical and Physical Performance Responses to a Soccer Match after a 72-Hour Recovery Period
by Diego Marqués-Jiménez, Julio Calleja-González, Iñaki Arratibel-Imaz and Nicolás Terrados
Sports 2022, 10(10), 140; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports10100140 - 22 Sep 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2078
Abstract
The physiological and neuromuscular responses at 72 h post-match are not widely researched, despite evidence showing substantial changes in recovery markers at 72 h post-match. Consequently, the aim of this study was to determine the biochemical and physical performance responses to a soccer [...] Read more.
The physiological and neuromuscular responses at 72 h post-match are not widely researched, despite evidence showing substantial changes in recovery markers at 72 h post-match. Consequently, the aim of this study was to determine the biochemical and physical performance responses to a soccer match after a 72-h recovery period. Male soccer players of a semiprofessional team participated in this study. Before playing a friendly match, blood values of testosterone, cortisol, the testosterone-to-cortisol ratio and urea were collected and the squat jump and the Bangsbo Repeated Sprint Ability test were performed. These measurements were considered as baseline (pre match) and were obtained again after a 72-h recovery period. Results indicate that physical performance at 72 h post-match was similar to baseline (squat jump: p = 0.974; total Repeated Sprint Ability time: p = 0.381; Repeated Sprint Ability fatigue index: p = 0.864). However, perturbations in the biochemical milieu derived from the soccer match metabolic and physiological stress were still evident at this time point. While no significant differences compared to pre match were obtained in testosterone and urea concentrations after the recovery period, cortisol and testosterone-to-cortisol ratio values were significantly higher (14.74 ± 3.68 µg/dL vs. 17.83 ± 2.65 µg/dL; p = 0.045; ES 0.92 [0.00; 1.84], very likely) and lower (39.08 ± 13.26 vs. 28.29 ± 7.45; p = 0.038; ES −0.96 [−1.89; −0.04], very likely), respectively. In conclusion, soccer players have similar physical performance to the pre match after a 72-h recovery period, even with signs of biochemical and physiological stress. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Monitoring Load, Recovery, and Performance in Soccer Players)
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9 pages, 1007 KiB  
Article
Relationship between Upper and Lower Body Strength and Basketball Shooting Performance
by Dimitrije Cabarkapa, Drake A. Eserhaut, Andrew C. Fry, Damjana V. Cabarkapa, Nicolas M. Philipp, Shay M. Whiting and Gabriel G. Downey
Sports 2022, 10(10), 139; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports10100139 - 20 Sep 2022
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 4704
Abstract
Strength is one of the key physiological performance attributes related to optimal on-court basketball performance. However, there is a lack of scientific literature studying how strength relates to shooting proficiency, as a key basketball skill capable of discriminating winning from losing game outcomes. [...] Read more.
Strength is one of the key physiological performance attributes related to optimal on-court basketball performance. However, there is a lack of scientific literature studying how strength relates to shooting proficiency, as a key basketball skill capable of discriminating winning from losing game outcomes. Thus, the purpose of the present study was to examine the relationship between maximal upper and lower body strength and free-throw, two-point, and three-point shooting accuracy. Ten males and seven females performed bench press and back squat one repetition maximum (1RM) and basketball shooting testing during two laboratory visits. The shooting protocol consisted of five sets of 15 free-throw, two-point, and three-point shots performed in sequential order. Each set was separated by a 30 min rest interval to minimize the influence of fatigue. Each subject attempted 225 shots, combining for a total of 3825 shots. The average free-throw, two-point, and three-point shooting accuracy for men were 74.5 ± 11.9, 68.4 ± 9.9, and 53.3 ± 14.9%, and for women 79.2 ± 11.2, 65.5 ± 8.4, and 51.2 ± 15.3%, respectively. The average bench press and back squat 1RM for men was 88.2 ± 18.6 and 117.0 ± 21.2 kg, and for women, 40.6 ± 7.5 and 66.9 ± 9.9 kg, respectively. The findings of the present study revealed no significant relationships between maximal upper and lower body strength and basketball shooting performance for both male and female participants. Neither bench press nor back squat 1RM was a good predictor of free-throw, two-point, and three-point shooting performance. Full article
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